French onion dip with cheddar biscuits

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 8 people

This classic flavour-pairing more than stands the test of time. Rather than using a dried soup mix, in this version we've opted for richly caramelised onion along with fragrant thyme and lemon rind. The cheddar biscuits are excellent served as they are, but come into their own paired with this moreish dip. A bundle of crisp vegetables served on the side adds a burst of fresh flavour.

  • 40 gm butter, diced
  • large onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 100 ml dry white wine
  • 2 tsp finely chopped thyme
  • Finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
  • 500 gm crème fraîche or sour cream
  •  
  • Cheddar biscuits
  • 150 gm (1 cup) wholemeal flour
  • 150 gm (1 cup) plain flour
  • 2 tsp finely chopped thyme
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika, plus extra for dusting
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 220 gm chilled butter, diced
  • 70 gm vintage cheddar, coarsely grated
  • 1 egg yolk, mixed with ½ tsp water
01   For cheddar biscuits, process flours, thyme, spices and 1½ tsp sea salt in a food processor to combine, then add butter and process to fine crumbs. Add cheese, process to combine, then turn out onto a work surface and bring mixture together with the heel of your hand. Form into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour to rest. Preheat oven to 180C and line baking trays with baking paper. Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface to 4mm thick and cut out 6cm-diameter rounds with a cutter (we used a fluted cutter). Place on prepared trays, brush lightly with eggwash, dock with a fork and dust with a little extra paprika and salt. Bake, turning and swapping trays partway through cooking, until golden brown (15-20 minutes). Cool completely on trays, then store in an airtight container between sheets of baking paper (biscuits are very crumbly) for up to 3 days.
02   For the dip, melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add onion and fry, stirring occasionally to begin with and more frequently as onion starts to colour, until very tender and well caramelised (8-10 minutes), then add garlic and stir until fragrant (30 seconds). Deglaze pan with wine, simmer until completely reduced, then stir in thyme and rind. Cool to room temperature, then process in a food processor with crème fraîche and lemon juice to taste until smooth. Check seasoning and refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Serve with cheddar biscuits and crudités.
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